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Smith-Lipinski, Santorum, and Other Signs of the Opocalypse

madamab's picture

This is a chock-full Friday. With the anti-choice hypocrites in charge of the House, it didn't take them long to start having their usual foam-at-the-mouth conniption fits about that wimminz-only medical procedure that is none of their fucking business.

In "Desperately Seeking Smith-Lipinski" last August, I tried and failed to find any awareness from the traditional women's organizations that a law which would not only make Hyde permanent, but impose many, many extra restrictions on abortion funding, was looming in the House. Perhaps they were blind to the obvious fact that Obama was electoral poison, and that the Republicans were clearly going to take over at least part of Congress in 2011. Or perhaps they are just bored with fighting the anti-choice hypocrites and went for a massage and a mani-pedi.

Now that the bill is actually being brought up in committee by Smith, Lipinski and Pitts (yes, THAT Pitts, the co-author of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment), NARAL is OUTRAGED, I tells ya.

[NARAL President Nancy] Keenan said H.R.3, introduced by Rep. Smith, if identical to last summer’s version, is even worse than the original Stupak ban on abortion coverage that was rejected during the debate on health reform. Keenan said Smith’s far-reaching bill would undermine women’s freedom and privacy in a number of ways:

  • It would ban coverage of abortion in the new health-care system and impose tax penalties on Americans with private insurance plans that include abortion coverage. Currently, 87 percent of private plans currently include such coverage.
  • It would narrow the already severely limited rape and incest exceptions in the Hyde amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion care. This new restriction would deny Medicaid coverage for abortion to survivors of statutory rape and any incest survivor who is 18 years of age or older
  • It would reimpose the ban on Washington, D.C.’s use of its own local funds for abortion for low-income women, an unfair restriction which Congress lifted in 2009, and a move that President Obama supported.
  • It would recodify the ban on abortion care for women in the military, denying them access to abortion care at overseas military hospitals, even if they pay for the service with their own money.

Isn't it fascinating that these hypocrites from hell yammer on and on about the insurance mandate being unConstitutional and denounce the "tyranny" of big government, but think it is perfectly fine to use the powers of government to essentially ban a legal medical procedure that is none of their fucking business? And aren't we so glad that Obama encouraged these woman-hating control freaks by adding that Executive Order to the Health Whatever Bill and allowing the Nelson Amendment to pass the Senate?

By the way, NARAL's idea of countering this bill is to have pro-choice bloggers blog about it today. Consider it done, that all there is? Where is the march on Washington? Perhaps NARAL does not think something this insane and drastic could possibly pass. If that's the case, let me be the first to say GET A FUCKING CLUE, NARAL. For once in your goddamned lives, GET AHEAD OF THE ANTI-CHOICE LUNATICS. We need a mass demonstration, not a bunch of pissed-off wimminz blogging. Yes, this bill will certainly go out of committee and will certainly proceed to the Senate. What happens then is anyone's guess. And no, I do not have confidence that Obama will veto this crap if the Senate passes it. Show me the evidence that he supports a woman's right to choose. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Speaking of anti-choice hypocrites, Sanctum Santorum was in rare form yesterday when he said that Obama's alleged pro-choice beliefs (insert bitter laughter here) are "almost remarkable for a black man," drawing parallels with actually alive human slaves and a potential life that can't survive outside a woman's body. Yeah, I can see why those two things are the same. I suppose lily-white Santorum is an expert in the beliefs of the black community, as well. What the hell is this fuckwad talking about? Oh, that's right. He's running for President and pandering to what he imagines his base would be. Good luck with that, Ricky. I think you're too creepy even for the wingnuttiest of wingnuts.

In final abortion news, we "murdering" wimminz are having more. Starting in 2008, the steady decline of abortions has stalled, and the number is going up slightly. A hint as to why: nearly 75% of abortions are done for economic reasons.

"Abortion numbers go down when the economy is good and go up when the economy is bad, so the stalling may be a function of a weaker economy," said University of Alabama political science professor Michael New. "If the economy does better, you'll see numbers trending down again."

Do I hear a "duh fucking duh?" Here's another: all this anti-abortion legislation that's going through state and federal legislatures, usually only impacts the poor, and it disproportionally targets women of color. I'll just leave you with this head-scratching moment from the Guttmacher Institute's Drector of Government Affairs, Susan Cohen:

She remarked that abortion, since it was legalized nationwide in 1973, has become one of the most common surgical procedures.

"Yet after all these years," she said, "it remains maybe the most highly sensitive issue in our country on the personal and political level."

Yes, I wonder how that could possibly have happened? Could it be because the anti-choice hypocrites never cease to push their woman-hating agenda through every means possible (including twisting the meaning of pro-choice to mean anti-pregnancy), while the pro-choice forces think voting for Democrats is all that needs to be done to protect women's rights to this legal surgical procedure?

Should Smith-Lipinski become the law of the land, I am "sorry" to say that for the first time, poor women, and those living in states with no abortion clinics, won't be the only ones affected. The law will impose taxes on private abortion insurance as well. Just think about that for a minute. Middle-class and rich women with private insurance, will have to pay extra for the privilege of deciding their own reproductive destiny. How can the government be so intrusive into the lives of its citizens? Well, because (once again) we don't have the ERA, and according to activist judges like Scalia, this means that women don't have Constitutional protection as persons. (Corporations are more protected than women, in his bizarre worldview.)

Maybe this latest outrage will finally wake women up. Maybe there will be a hundred, a thousand blogs today about this subject and the "Creative Classes" will finally see the lump from the several tons of bricks that have been dumped on their heads since Obama was elected.

As for me, I'm taking no chances. I'm calling my Senators the second this piece of shit passes the House. I hope you will all do the same.

I will state with little fear of fact-based contradiction that none of this would EVER have happened if Hillary had been elected President. No continuation of the Bush "conscience clause" (STILL not overturned), no Health Whatever Bill, no Nelson, no Executive Order, no Smith-Lipinski. Hell, the Democrats probably would have INCREASED their numbers in Congress in 2010 - and with a real pro-choice leader, all this woman-hating crap would have been DOA.

'Tis a bitter pill indeed.

Originally posted at The Widdershins

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votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

I will state with little fear of fact-based contradiction that none of this would EVER have happened if Hillary had been elected President.

so much!!!!

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

"Abortion rights are in jeopardy."

I was supposed to be shocked and appalled at this missive and immediately donate mucho dinero to NOW. My only problem was...they didn't tell me what the money was for. It's a wild suggestion, I know, but....if NOW actually sponsored a march and said, "We need the bucks for signs, transportation, etc.," I think they might just get a better response.

I suppose they do have to pay the people who write their sternly-worded letters for them...

Eureka Springs's picture
Submitted by Eureka Springs on

have been elected.. there is no reason to believe she wouldn't have embraced the old DLC Blue Dog strategy (more, not better).. which keeps anti-choice D people like Mark Pryor in the Senate and Mike Ross in the House (among many others). We would still be facing threats to choice from the very type of candidates/people she and Bill constantly support.

Y'all simply lose me every time you pretend Hillary would be remotely near the answer we (or Dems) need. And I say this as a native Arkansan former lifelong Dem who has known and followed the Clintons since childhood.

Equally self defeating is reliance in any manner on NARAL.

Otherwise, great passionate post. Thank you.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

Any different.

Except for thirty years of public policy and extremely influential public statements ("Women's rights are human rights," IN CHINA, for example) to the contrary.

By contrast, find me one time where Obama's public policy or rhetoric has done anything to support an AMERICAN woman's right to choose. Go ahead, I'll wait.

"Otherwise...", you're welcome. ;-)

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

As I've said before, blather on all you want about how Clinton would have been the same as Obama, I don't buy it and am sick of that argument allover, but whatev; however she would have chewed off her right arm before she issued that odious Stupak-pleasing EO. Not in a million years. Reproductive rights are not something she's ever equivocated about or thrown the game for, or put on the fucking table.

And mb -- I'm glad you cross-posted, I almost suggested as much when I saw it on your site!

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

I knew the part about Hillary might not be well-received here, but as you say, whatever. It's not the most important part anyway. The important part is that the Democrats are stomping all over us and we must fight back!

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

fighting back with advocacy groups -- I've given up on any rights group which doesn't call out Obama and the Ds to stand up. Over here are some reactions to the Stupak-EO-fail:

Planned Parenthood:

"We regret that a pro-choice president of a pro-choice nation was forced to sign an Executive Order that further codifies the proposed anti-choice language in the health-care reform bill, originally proposed by Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska," said Cecile Richards, president of PPFA. She also said her group is "grateful" that the executive order does not "include the complete and total ban on private health insurance coverage for abortion that Congressman Bart Stupak had insisted upon."

(emphasis added)

yeah, what a win that Stupak didn't get everything he asked for. I regret I ever gave them any money.

contrast Catholics for Choice:

"I hope the choice movement now decides to play hardball with Democrats, including the President, and insist that an all out effort to overturn the Hyde Amendment is required if Democratic office holders and candidates want our vote in 2012," she told The Post. "I for one have decided that I simply will not vote for another elected official until Hyde is overturned and I hope others will do the same. There is no reason for prochoice voters to accept Democratic pussyfooting around on repealing Hyde."

(emphasis added)

Submitted by lambert on

We know he's really pro-choice because he was forced to sign this bill.

Think for a minute, wouldja?

Submitted by PA_Lady on

Especially this:

Isn't it fascinating that these hypocrites from hell yammer on and on about the insurance mandate being unConstitutional and denounce the "tyranny" of big government, but think it is perfectly fine to use the powers of government to essentially ban a legal medical procedure that is none of their fucking business?

Eureka Springs's picture
Submitted by Eureka Springs on

the expense of your own merit/ argument. I never suggested he is worth grain of salt.. And you failed to address my point of Clintons long and consistent history of supporting most dreadful congressional candidates on this issue... even at times when clear pro-choice candidates were an option, they chose other more conservative candidates. Those actions have been far more clear and detrimental than vague policy talk.

And don't even pretend to go there with any of these D's in re Afghanistan... when we should have at the very least been out of there within 6 months. Hillary neo-liberals on Afghanistan are all brutal war criminals to me. Talk is cheap when hundreds of billions of dollars approved by Clinton, her favorite Dems terrorize millions of Afghan women every day.

No wonder you still listen to the likes of NARAL. I know what's for supper tonight, more Veal! (with neo-liberal sauce, no doubt)

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

#1 - For heaven's sake, I never EVER said I supported NARAL. I said quite the opposite. I said they have completely failed on this issue for decades and have allowed the wingnuts to win time and again. Funny, everyone but you seems to get that (see Lambert's response and my response to him).

#2 - I never said you were an Obama supporter or assumed it. I said that Hillary was better than Obama on this issue. Which she demonstrably is. You said she wasn't. So I countered your argument.

#3 - Once again, no links for your fact-free assertions about Hillary supporting anti-choice candidates over pro-choice ones. Once again, you conflate her with Bill. Hillary is herself. Give me a link about her, please.

#4 - What does Afghanistan have to do with women's rights IN AMERICA? Which is what this post is about? Anyone? Bueller?

#5 - I am so tired of seeing people go into unreasoning frenzies of hatred whenever Hillary's name is mentioned. It's utterly fucking exhausting. Can't we just agree to disagree without all the pointless digression? You liked the post. Good. Have a lovely day.

Fredster's picture
Submitted by Fredster on

I was wondering where that turn to Afghanistan came from. I guess that's from the Iraq Resolution HRC voted on. (you know it's all one big mess tied together) You know...the one Obama wouldn't have voted on and gave the legendary speech that no one recorded or remembered?

Getting back to the topic at hand...

Eureka Springs's picture
Submitted by Eureka Springs on

i mixed up your mentioning China with Afghanistan due to multi discussions going on - on my end. Either way, both are laughable.. you know, the kind of laughter right before you cry. I long ago quit taking what our leaders say other nations should be doing when i could hardly find a shred of integrity among what they do here at home. Hillary .. the Clintons, certainly fit that mold. And certainly her stance on bombing and occupying nations full of innocent women speaks volumes in re her sincerity on so many humanitarian/woman's issues.

The Clintons led the D party for way too long, like them or not... on choice they failed. We simply must move on... because we have been losing ground for decades.

I also mentioned two specific names in re anti choice Dems supported by Clintons above, i could name more from my own home state (Blue Dog Marrion Berry, now retired, but always supported by the Clintons... and will not begin to try to link the scores or more Blue Dog candidates... where downright contempt for or certain willingness to compromise the right to choice away is clear. Have you ever met a Blue Dog candidate a Clinton didn't endorse? Not many I'm sure.

Why even feckless veal pen NARAL endorsed O over H.... as long as we remain mired in discussions of either without insisting they be replaced... choice and so much else loses.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

I knew we were screwed. He had never done anything to suggest that he was, in fact, pro-choice. (I actually gave up my membership in NARAL when they endorsed Joe "Short Bus Ride" Lieberman, and told them they weren't getting any more money from me.) We will agree to disagree about Hillary. You're not going to change my mind, and I'm not going to change yours. Fair enough.

I couldn't agree more that Obama should be replaced forthwith, but there isn't anyone with whom to replace him, except people who aren't running. At least, not yet.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

when they endorsed Obama -- they were hoping to get a ride on the chuckwagon Obama appeared to be promising the veal pens. Please tell me you didn't think it was because they actually had an argument that Barack-vote-present-Obama was better than Clinton on choice?!?! Guffaw.

I'm all astonishment. (h/t Miss Bingley)

Submitted by lambert on

... the upchuck-wagon. Heh heh.

So far as Hillary Clinton, if there is one thing she has been unwavering on, it's the rights of women and girls. Blue Dogs or no, triangulation or no, she wouldn't have done what Obama did on Stupak, and the rest of it. My $0.02. Which is not to say that Hillary Clinton was "the answer" or any other straw man...

Agreed we must "move on" from the place we're in, but we also need to keep and set the record straight.

Fredster's picture
Submitted by Fredster on

there is no reason to believe she wouldn't have embraced the old DLC Blue Dog strategy (more, not better).. which keeps anti-choice D people like Mark Pryor in the Senate and Mike Ross in the House (among many others)

To paraphrase an old movie: But she didn't Blanche, she didn't (embrace...)

Eureka Springs's picture
Submitted by Eureka Springs on

to her last moment in her campaign... and as a horrific neo-liberal SOS.

To suggest otherwise is just delusional. See fundraisers with/for anti-choice Senator Mark Pryor in AR as well as the others I mentioned. Why Mark Pryor has convinced O to nominate AR GOP judges to federal bench this week. Hillary's fundraisers and endorsements just keep on giving - anti choice gopers to the bench.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

are you sure you're not an Obama fan? Eerily like PP's regrets that Obama "was forced to sign" the EO. Why is it that even those who claim to oppose Obama still keep giving him a pass on...everything? I suppose Obama had some pro-choice champion lined up but Pryor "convinced" him to go the other way, and again it all leads back to IACF somehow. Hillary is always the Eve who felled paradise, across the spectrum...

Which reminds me, a not-so-oldie-but-a-goody:
Clinton Defends Reproductive Rights

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

Because disagreeing with you is "delusional."

Okay then. I have yet to see one link that proves that Hillary herself is anti-choice in any way, shape or form. Hell, Hipparchia did better than you, and she agrees with me. (Mostly.)

To me, frenzies of hatred are not convincing. Repeating tired old accusations without proof are not convincing. Changing the argument to fit your parameters is not convincing. Afghanistan, political endorsements, none of these things have anything whatsoever to do with my post, nor was I aware that the Secretary of State was responsible for war policy. I suppose in your mind she waved her magical Hillary wand and "forced" Obama to stay in Afghanistan the way Mark Pryor "forced" Obama to nominate anti-choice judges. My goodness, I'd hate to see the way you'd excuse Obama if you WERE a supporter!

A tiny smidgen of objectivity when talking about Hillary and choice would show you that you are simply 100% pure-d WRONG ON THE FACTS. See, that's my nice way of saying "you're delusional." ;-)

Submitted by hipparchia on

that wimminz-only medical procedure that is none of their fucking business

and more gold starz for putting this post together, of course. thank you for doing all this work.

Submitted by lambert on

Regarding the G8 initiative:

Earlier this month during a G8* meeting of foreign ministers in Gatineau, Quebec, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, David Miliband, said that any international effort to boost maternal health must include family planning and access to safe abortion.

This meeting was in preparation for the G8 Summit taking place in June where a new initiative to improve maternal health will be launched.

Canada's Foreign Minister, Lawrence Cannon, said the program for maternal and child health will be Prime Minister Stephen Harper's "signature initiative," but that the government has "closed the door on the abortion part." Canada has made it clear that the initiative will not focus on unsafe abortions in developing countries or support access to family planning and contraception. The government argues it does not want a valuable initiative to improve the lives of women and children in the developing world to be damaged by a contentious debate over abortion.

During her visit to Ottawa, Secretary Clinton said, "You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health, and reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortions." (Read full transcript below.)

The Center prepared letters for both Secretary Clinton and President Barack Obama asking that the United States take a strong position on the inclusion of sexual and reproductive health and rights, especially access to family planning, including contraception, to be a central component of the initiative.

NOTE Hat tip SR in mail.

Submitted by hipparchia on

throughout her career, hillary has been very, very good on reproductive rights, for which she is one of my heroes, but too much of her part in the nationaql discourse on aborton centers on how 'sad', 'tragic', 'morally wrenching', etc the decision of whether or not to have an abortion is for women, and i will never forgive her for this:

1993 health plan included RU-486 & widely available abortion

Mrs. Clinton, during her efforts to revolutionize the health care industry, said 1993 that under her plan, abortion services “would be widely available.” This prompted anxieties over the prospect of taxpayer-funded abortions, sparking the Coates Amendment, which sought to strip abortion funding from the plan.

The first lady allowed for a “conscience exemption” in which doctors and hospitals would not be forced to perform abortions.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

right away in 2008. Granted, it was after she'd been tagged for SoS, so she may not have pursued it, but she and Murray started lobbying Leavitt against the regs earlier in Sept.

Not that that means you should forgive her; she has been just as unwavering on the "rare" part of "safe, legal and rare" as she has on the fact that the government has no part in abortion or contraception whatsoever.

Submitted by lambert on

... she's the best, even honorably the best, and yet we could wish for so much, much more...

Submitted by hipparchia on

i'd forgotten about that 2008 action. thanks for the link and the reminder.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

The Church Amendment, which is a "conscience clause" that has been in place since immediately after the Roe v. Wade decision, and was endorsed by Justice Blackmun, the creator of Roe v. Wade.

Unless I am wrong, that was typical Hillary-esque 11-dimensional chess. She basically agreed to not overturn the existing conscience protections.

I am amazed that she was onto RU-486 as early as 1993. When she was a New York Senator, she was instrumental in blackmailing, er, working out a deal with, the Bush (!) Administration to make RU-486 available without a prescription for women over 18. (Here is a good source for this story - it's hilariously outraged over her advocacy.) The "abortion pill" is now responsible for 1/3 of all first-trimester abortions.

I don't think she has a thing to apologize for in this area. She has been the most consistent political advocate for reproductive rights in modern history.

Submitted by hipparchia on

i do get a kick out of reading these pearl-clutchers, thanks for that link.

some kind of time-limited [10 years, maybe 20 max] conscience clause at the very beginning, to allow people already in the medical professions time to find a new career, or adjust their consciences, or whatever would have been ok,ll given that it was kind of a big cultural shift. but by 1993, the creation of hillarycare, ABORTION HAD BEEN LEGAL FOR 20 YEARS! birth control had been legal for even longer than that.

at that same time [1993ish], some friends of mine, here in almost alabama, in their very early 20s were both in grad school full time, both working full time jobs, and raising 3 small children, and were unable to get any local doctor or clinic or hospital to perform either a vasectomey or tubal ligation on either of them because they were both "too young and might want more children someday."

::headdesk headdesk headdesk::

sorry, no excuses on this one, not even of the 11-dimensional chess variety.